Battery anxiety on hikes, rides and paddles is when you worry that your kit will run out of juice before you reach your destination. It’s normal to feel anxious about this situation, but these 5 things will reduce your stress and help you love your time outside.
Here’s how to deal with battery anxiety
If you’re worried about running out of charge, here are some tips to help you cope with the situation. First, prioritise what you need power for, then make sure you’ve enough energy for these priority activities. Second, plan ahead. Make sure your essential navigation needs no batteries or connection to external services. Confident navigation is your most crucial activity. Third, optimise your charge. Fourth, avoid battery draining. Learn what drains your battery fastest and avoid these activities. Fifth, keep one eye on your battery status and stay calm. Try not to panic. but, if you find yourself in a pinch, preserve remaining power exclusively for an emergency phone call.
Prioritise your battery needs
Filming and photo taking are very hungry on power, and probably the highest priority for most outings. If these are your priorities, try to avoid all other functions of the phone, especially those that require connectivity and location such as navigation. Additionally, consider more dedicated kit for filming (a GoPro for example) and make sure these have plenty of charge. If it’s essential you share and communicate from the trail, factor this as a high priority too. Otherwise, these activities can wait until you are back and near a power source with the luxury of switching Blue Tooth and location services back on.
It’s fine to make initial plans using services like Komoot and other apps to inspire your route. These apps get ever more sophisticated with AR, real time location and routing programmes potentially running constantly in the background. But remember, phone apps that rely upon GPS are the hungriest on scarce battery power. Keep that power for priority needs.
Instead, pen your route on a fabric map of the area you’re exploring and switch off location services on your phone for the duration of your venture. You can always turn services back on briefly to confirm your location should you need to.
Charge Your Phone Before Leaving Home.
Phones get used for so much and it’s easy to forget how much energy they consume even when you’re NOT using them. So, before you leave home, charge up your phone -and consider a spare battery pack- so you’ll have enough juice for all those second priority things.
Turn Off Bluetooth and GPS.
Connectivity is a power drain. If your phone can put a dot onto a map of where you are, it is working hard and will exhaust soon contributing to your battery anxiety. The same goes for Bluetooth and WiFi. Switch all these off before you embark and turn off your background app refreshes. Do you really want your Bank’s app update to drain power while you’re adventuring? Get familiar with your settings and remember to switch these back on when home.
Constantly switching devices ‘on’ to check their battery status is a sure sign of battery anxiety and is counterproductive. Set a point at which you stop using your phone all together. For example, when your phone reaches 20% battery stop taking photographs and films. Assure all non-essentials are switched off (see earlier) and preserve the rest of the power, telling yourself it’s for that re-assuring call home at journey’s end.